Headshot of Daniel George Hong.
Headshot of Daniel George Hong. Facebook

'Reporting has caused me shame and ridicule'

ONE of the men convicted of interfering with the corpses of Robert Martinez and Chantal Barnett has a chance to redeem himself by revealing what he knows about her disappearance.

Daniel Hong was charged with two counts of murder and two counts of interfering with a corpse before the prosecution dropped the murder charges during this week's Supreme Court trial at Rockhampton.

He and co-accused Ian Armstrong pleaded guilty to two charges each of interfering with a corpse, leading to their release on Tuesday due to time served already in custody.

During sentencing, Justice Graeme Crow appealed to both men's conscience to reveal what they knew to help Ms Barnett's family locate her remains.

Writing from the Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre in the western suburbs of Brisbane last November, Mr Hong wrote to The Morning Bulletin to express his frustration at ongoing coverage, saying it has caused his family shame, ridicule and embarrassment.

"As you and your publication are aware, I have been charged with two counts of murder and have been committed to stand trial in 2018," Mr Hong wrote.

"Your publication has at times deemed it fit and proper to publish rumours and allegations concerning my alleged involvement in this matter.

"I would (like to) take this opportunity to ask to cease and desist in mentioning my name and using my likeness in your coverage of this trial."

While Mr Hong said he understood that there was a great deal of community interest in this story, he felt initial reporting was not factual.

"By-products of your reporting are shame, ridicule and embarrassment," he wrote.

"Your publishings have caused a great deal of stress and anxiety to my wife and children to the point that they are now ostracised from the community that we were, at one time, dedicated to.

"Moreover, your persistence is potentially damaging the pool of jurors that will decide my fate.

"Therefore, I ask that you cease and desist from continued publishing (in print or online) of my personal information, including my photographs."

Speaking outside court, Ms Barnett's father, Glen, did not hold out hope that either men would disclose information that could locate the deceased.

"We hope for evil to lift the veils so that we can move forward with our lives with closure, justice is served, and our daughter, aunty, sister and another is at peace," Mr Barnett said.

"Until that day, there will be no peace for any of us."



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